Space News
space history and artifacts articles

Messages
space history discussion forums

Sightings
worldwide astronaut appearances

Resources
selected space history documents

Websites
related space history websites

  collectSPACE: Messages
  Free Space
  Ukraine crisis, Russia and space program politics (Page 2)

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search


This topic is 3 pages long:   1  2  3 
next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   Ukraine crisis, Russia and space program politics
cspg
Member

Posts: 4691
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 03-19-2014 03:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dom:
If Putin really wants to return Russia (and us) to some fantasy 'golden era' similar to the Cold War, international space co-operation involving Russia will come to an end with the ISS...
And their manned national space program as well... unless they are secretly building a space station!

And a French person mentioned that Russia, by annexing Crimea will regain control of the Yevpatoria ground control and tracking facilities which were part of the National Space Agency of Ukraine.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 30027
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-19-2014 04:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by moorouge:
...will Russian efforts be redirected to putting cosmonauts on the Moon?
Regardless the status of U.S. and Russian relations, I think (sadly) the days of Russia launching its own crew are limited.

Russia has said it relies on foreign funds to launch its Soyuz and Progress missions. Roscosmos needs U.S., European or privately-sourced ("space tourist") funds to keep its human spaceflight program flying.

If the U.S. stays the course and develops a commercial crew ability, then it is reasonable to assume that, in addition to the U.S. withdrawing its funds from Russia, so will ESA and other ISS partners in favor of the U.S.-based option.

Space Adventures, the only company licensed to fly paying passengers on the Soyuz, already has a partnership with Boeing for use of its CST-100 (and one could assume would approach SpaceX or Sierra Nevada for the same).

So unless Russia devotes significantly more funds to its space program, there could come a day in the not too distant future when Russia starts paying the U.S. (or U.S. companies) to launch its crew members to the space station.

There's a certain irony in that, given the complaints by some about the U.S. doing the same to fly on Soyuz, but unlike Russia, the U.S. has the resources to develop spacecraft and fly without foreign support.

moorouge
Member

Posts: 1783
From: U.K.
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 03-19-2014 05:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by p51:
Make no mistake, we've always been in an odd military footing against Russia, ever since World War II in 1945. In fact, we're probably in a similar position than we were while we were all fighting. We spy on them, they spy on us, and all the while we officially say we're friends.

I think I've said this before elsewhere, but wasn't it Kissinger who said, "We don't have friends but only interests."

p51
Member

Posts: 1068
From: Olympia, WA, USA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 03-19-2014 06:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by moorouge:
I think I've said this before elsewhere, but wasn't it Kissinger who said, "We don't have friends but only interests."
He said, "America has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests."

But your point is very well made. I think Americans like to label entire nations simply and then move on, not fully understanding that nations are rarely ever allied on anything for very long.

SkyMan1958
Member

Posts: 463
From: CA.
Registered: Jan 2011

posted 03-19-2014 11:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by moorouge:
I think I've said this before elsewhere, but wasn't it Kissinger who said, "We don't have friends but only interests."
Actually the first person to say the quote was a British person... I believe a Prime Minister, although he may have been foreign secretary at the time. I believe this was back in the late 1800's.

While I am certainly not a fan of Putin, and see shades of the Sudeten Germans in this whole maneuver, it should be recognized that the West did essentially the same thing in Kosovo.

Clearly the next question becomes what will happen in eastern and southern Ukraine. Finally, for those that are unaware of it, there are also areas where Russians are the majority population in north central Kazakhstan... although Baikonur is surrounded by a predominantly Kazakh population.

moorouge
Member

Posts: 1783
From: U.K.
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 03-20-2014 02:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Actually the quote is attributed to Viscount Palmerston. He said "England has no eternal friends, England has no perpetual enemies, England has only eternal and perpetual interests".

It is very appropriate as he was Prime Minister at the time of the Crimean War.

garymilgrom
Member

Posts: 1772
From: Atlanta, GA, USA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 03-20-2014 06:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by moorouge:
An odd thought - if cooperation with the US for the ISS ends and the station has to be closed, will Russian efforts be redirected to putting cosmonauts on the Moon?
Thomas Friedman makes a similar statement in the New York Times, saying if this means a return to the Cold War then he wants another moon shot. Of course his 2014 moon shot involves sustainable Earth resources, not sending people into space.

Lasv3
Member

Posts: 275
From: Bratislava, Slovakia
Registered: Apr 2009

posted 03-21-2014 06:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lasv3   Click Here to Email Lasv3     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hysterical calls of the new era of cold war are good for only a few politicians who do not know what really happens.

Who wants the cold war? US president Obama and/or Russian president Putin? In reality none of them. US and Russia need each other in the new post-cold war world. Their common interests are to fight the terrorism and organized crime and not to allow the WMD to come into the wrong hands. That's absolutely crucial and both superpowers will stick to it.

Mass media unfortunately do not play a positive role in this conflict — as in any other. Did in the mainstream media appear the information that the US have the military base in southern Russia? It is the bridge (not the only one of course) for the supplies for the US contingent in Afghanistan. And it's for the benefit of both US and Russia.

Every politician is drumming on sanctions against Russia. And the result? In reality no sanctions worth of mentioning. The trade is the topic of the day.

There will be silence in a short time, no storm lasts forever and the US and Russia will come to an agreement.

alanh_7
Member

Posts: 1029
From: Ajax, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 03-21-2014 08:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for alanh_7   Click Here to Email alanh_7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It does make me wonder however if there will be an incentive to speed up the development of a US crew capable flight system. With the Secretary of Defense questioning the use of the Russian RD-180 in the Atlas it could be only a matter of time.

These sanctions are going to take some time to implement. I have no illusions that they will not bring the Russians to their knees on this issue any more than not send athletes to the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow forced the Russians to withdraw from Afghanistan. But this is just the beginning of those sanctions.

I saw that two major credit cards companies are withdrawing their support of a major Russian bank. Those are things that eventually with have an economic inconvenience, though I doubt they will detour the Russians from continuing the course they are on.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 30027
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-21-2014 09:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Let's try to direct this topic back to space policy issues. There are plenty of other websites to debate general sanctions or the consequences of Russia's annexation of Crimea.

As it stands now, the conflict has not had an effect on the International Space Station (ISS). Russia and the U.S. continue to work together to support the orbiting outpost, and Soyuz TMA-12M is set to launch on March 25 with NASA astronaut Steve Swanson aboard.

Russian cosmonauts continue to train in at Johnson Space Center, and American astronauts continue to train at Star City.

As Chris (cpsg) noted, the annexation will affect the National Space Agency of Ukraine, given the location of the Yevpatoria ground control and tracking facilities in Crimea.

alanh_7
Member

Posts: 1029
From: Ajax, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 03-21-2014 10:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for alanh_7   Click Here to Email alanh_7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I guess if one were political, and I really am not, the question could be asked that under the current climate should this relationship continue is it is now? But without a viable option I guess there is no immediate alternative.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 30027
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-02-2014 01:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
An internal NASA memo written by NASA's associate administrator for international and interagency relations was sent out today (April 2) that suspends NASA contact with Russian entities, other than in relation to the International Space Station.
Given Russia's ongoing violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, until further notice, the U.S. Government has determined that all NASA contacts with Russian Government representatives are suspended, unless the activity has been specifically excepted. This suspension includes NASA travel to Russia and visits by Russian Government representatives to NASA facilities, bilateral meetings, email, and teleconferences or videoconferences. At the present time, only operational International Space Station activities have been excepted. In addition, multilateral meetings held outside of Russia that may include Russian participation are not precluded under the present guidance.

cspg
Member

Posts: 4691
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 04-02-2014 03:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
They can use the North Korea agency name now: NADA (nothing).

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 30027
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-02-2014 07:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
Statement regarding suspension of some NASA activities with Russian Government representatives

Given Russia's ongoing violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, NASA is suspending the majority of its ongoing engagements with the Russian Federation. NASA and Roscosmos will, however, continue to work together to maintain safe and continuous operation of the International Space Station.

NASA is laser focused on a plan to return human spaceflight launches to American soil, and end our reliance on Russia to get into space. This has been a top priority of the Obama Administration's for the past five years, and had our plan been fully funded, we would have returned American human spaceflight launches – and the jobs they support – back to the United States next year.

With the reduced level of funding approved by Congress, we're now looking at launching from U.S. soil in 2017. The choice here is between fully funding the plan to bring space launches back to America or continuing to send millions of dollars to the Russians. It's that simple.

The Obama Administration chooses to invest in America – and we are hopeful that Congress will do the same.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 30027
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-03-2014 12:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Roscosmos' Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons (DAN) pulsing neutron generator on NASA's Mars Curiosity rover may be an example of a joint U.S.-Russian activity that does not fall under the new policy's space station exemption.

p51
Member

Posts: 1068
From: Olympia, WA, USA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 04-03-2014 12:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Seems to me that this statement has very little teeth. Seriously, how much cooperation was there before all this, other than the ISS and support for it?

ANY cooperation between the two now could just be labeled as 'ISS support', almost regardless of what it is...

OV-105
Member

Posts: 610
From: Ridgecrest, CA USA
Registered: Sep 2000

posted 04-03-2014 12:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for OV-105   Click Here to Email OV-105     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Starting to sound like the movie 2010.

Lasv3
Member

Posts: 275
From: Bratislava, Slovakia
Registered: Apr 2009

posted 04-03-2014 01:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lasv3   Click Here to Email Lasv3     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
...and that´s good. Cooperation is the only way forward. If politicians would not interfere we could have been on Mars already ..

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 30027
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-03-2014 01:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by p51:
Seems to me that this statement has very little teeth.
It's not meant to have "teeth," or least not its own, as CBS News reported.
[It] reflects a broad State Department directive to multiple federal agencies that have regular contact with the Russian government. In NASA's case, the space station represents the bulk of the agency's dealings with Russia and the exemption presumably means business as usual.

But the space agency has multiple, less-visible cooperative efforts in space science, aeronautics and other areas, and the potential impacts on those remain to be seen.

"Apparently, this is happening in all federal agencies," said John Logsdon, professor emeritus of political science and international affairs at George Washington University. "So it's consistent with the across-government thing."

As for labeling any and all activities as "ISS support," Congress (or at least certain members thereof) may be quick to be critical of any questionable activity that falls outside the direct purview of the space station.

cspg
Member

Posts: 4691
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 04-03-2014 03:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Any impact on the supply of RD-180 engines for the Atlas V (Not specifically NASA-related)?

onesmallstep
Member

Posts: 722
From: Staten Island, New York USA
Registered: Nov 2007

posted 04-03-2014 01:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for onesmallstep   Click Here to Email onesmallstep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I find it sadly ironic that, as was the case almost 40 years ago during the Apollo-Soyuz mission, U.S. and then-Soviet spacemen could work together in space and literally fly over contested issues and politics on Earth. Granted, there was a budding détente then between the superpowers, which all ended with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan a few years later.

The circumstances today are much different; hopefully this time the U.S. — and NASA — learn from their mistakes and make a timely and critical transition to a U.S.-built and -launched access to space. The future of the U.S. manned space program depends on it.

capoetc
Member

Posts: 1766
From: Newnan GA (USA)
Registered: Aug 2005

posted 04-03-2014 04:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thus far, if memory serves, about $1.5B has been spent or is programmed through FY2014 for the CCDev/CCiCap/CPC programs, with four contractors receiving funding (now three since Blue Origin is out). One of the stated purposes of this concept was "...to implement U.S. Space Exploration policy with investments to stimulate the commercial space industry."

Maybe if we had selected a contractor and spent $1.5B with them, we might be closer to having a real capability. Too late now to put the toothpaste back in the tube, but maybe it is time to select a contractor and get the job done rather than trying to stimulate something. Just a thought.

JBoe
Member

Posts: 454
From: Churchton, MD, USA
Registered: Oct 2012

posted 04-03-2014 04:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JBoe   Click Here to Email JBoe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As unfortunate as this situation is, maybe it's what "we" need to increase the speed of developing, testing, and employing our next generation space systems.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 30027
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-03-2014 06:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by capoetc:
Maybe if we had selected a contractor and spent $1.5B with them, we might be closer to having a real capability.
You write that as if we're not close to a "real capability" right now, when we are.

SpaceX plans to launch its first manned flight test (from Pad 39A) next year. Boeing and Sierra Nevada plan their first flight tests (albeit unmanned) the following year. All three are on, or ahead of schedule to deliver a vehicle for NASA astronauts to fly to the space station in 2017.

NASA previously invested $922 million in a cost-plus contract to develop the X-33, and despite an additional $357 million in private funds, Lockheed did not come close to flight testing the vehicle, let alone completing an engineering test article. Some who worked on that program have suggested the cost-plus contract may have been part of the problem. (Though to be fair, there were significant technical hurdles imposed on the program as well.)

This isn't a case where NASA has run into cost overruns or underestimated what it would cost to deliver a flight vehicle. No, we are where are we are today because Congress knowingly underfunded the program.

328KF
Member

Posts: 904
From:
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 04-03-2014 08:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
All three are on, or ahead of schedule to deliver a vehicle for NASA astronauts to fly to the space station in 2017.

No, we are where are we are today because Congress knowingly underfunded the program.


"On or ahead of schedule" is a relative term, I think. It's no different that Branson repeatedly promising passenger spaceflights by "the end of this year." Both have been continuously moving targets.

Not to inject too much politics here, but I think we find ourselves where we are because the underfunding is the result of a lack of cohesive space policy and real leadership. Responsibility for both rest much higher than individual members of Congress.

328KF
Member

Posts: 904
From:
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 04-03-2014 08:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Aside from the blame game, let's consider this...

If the U.S. had it's own crew transportation in place right now, what difference would it make in the current situation? The explanations we have been given are that both parties a reliant on each other for ISS support.

Certainly, Russia would have less leverage, and the American public (or at least those who pay attention/care) would not have the heartburn over sending hundreds of millions of dollars to Russia in what is increasingly becoming a blackmail scenario.

But without the access situation hanging over our heads, wouldn't we still be in a co-dependent relationship? Neither side could just close the hatches and operate their respective sides on their own.

Maybe we can start sending the Russians a power bill for the use of our solar arrays and electrical system. It's capitalism... they certainly understand that.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 30027
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-03-2014 08:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by 328KF:
It's no different...
It is different. SpaceX, Boeing and Sierra Nevada are not solely working to their own schedule; to continue to compete, they are required to meet certain milestones set by NASA. The delays are not due to issues internal to the companies, but rather NASA having to slow the pace as a result of not having the money to proceed.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 30027
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-03-2014 09:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by 328KF:
If the U.S. had it's own crew transportation in place right now, what difference would it make in the current situation?
You're right, there would be no difference.

I don't see why anyone would be experiencing heartburn from astronauts flying on the Soyuz (especially today, 13 years on). It's a taxi that takes our crew members to work and brings them back home. Sure, we'd like to buy our own car and park it in our own garage, but until that's an option, it is ensuring continuous operation of the space station. The benefits outweigh the costs.

As for Congress, they certainly don't care. Oh sure, they posture before the cameras and pander to their constituents, but if it really bothered them that NASA astronauts were flying on Soyuz then there would be absolutely no argument now over fully-funding commercial crew. In fact, if it was really giving them heartburn, they would be asking if they could expedite the process by providing even more than the budget requests, but has a single congressperson done that?

And as for charging the Russians for use of "our" electricity, we do. We extract our payment in the form of barter whenever we need a cosmonaut to work on a USOS system, or when the Russian segment gives a boost to the station, or when the USOS WCS breaks down and our astronauts need to use the Russian commode.

328KF
Member

Posts: 904
From:
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 04-03-2014 10:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, my heartburn stems from several sources, not the least of which was highlighted by Chris Ferguson's post of it being 1000 days since the U.S. has launched it's own astronauts.

Our folks should be going to space on U.S. spacecraft for the following reasons:

  1. National pride and prestige - we have nearly always been, and should continue to be the world leader in manned spaceflight.

  2. The U.S. should never be, and should never have been put in, a situation where we are held hostage by another country to ever-increasing monetary cost for transporting our astronauts to and from any destination. I have yet to see a justification for the amount of U.S. taxpayer money being taken by the Russians for their "services."

  3. Contrary to some current opinion, and even some past history, there is no guarantee that political situations on the planet will not jeopardize ongoing joint projects in space. There is simply nothing "magical" about the ISS which prevents anyone from pulling the plug at any given time, and therefore jeopardizing another participant's investment.

  4. Given Putin's recent irrational actions (subject to one's point of view, of course) there is nothing to suggest that he would not do something equally irrational regarding space operations. This is the one "wild card" that puts the delicate co-dependent balance in danger.

  5. I feel reasonably confident after seeing many interviews and reading many books, that most if not all U.S. astronauts would rather not spend long months away from home to train in Russia, learn a difficult language, and be isolated from their home culture. Including the time on ISS, this becomes a multi-year commitment.
I could go on... but don't get me wrong. I believe that the Russian "option" has had some benefits. It gave us a limited continued access when our shuttles were grounded. It gave us some options when planning for the transition away from the shuttle, and provides an emergency return capability. All of this was originally intended to be short-term, only now it has become the norm.

But one has to wonder, if we never had this stopgap, wouldn't we have planned and funded accordingly? Obviously, the answer is yes. We could have never allowed any gap in assured access to the ISS, and our government would have responded accordingly.

It is what it is for now, but I really do hope that some lawmakers are spending less time trying to get re-elected and are tuning into the reality of the current situation.

2017 is a long ways off... too long. A lot can and will happen between now and then, both politically and technically with the competitors.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 30027
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-03-2014 10:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In general, I don't disagree with a number of your points (though I would suggest the U.S. is and will remain the world leader in human spaceflight, regardless of how we choose to launch our astronauts or when we next launch from U.S. soil).

2017 may seem like a long way off now... but does it really seem like 1,000 days since STS-135? Time is relative, and three years in the larger scheme of things is not that far away.

capoetc
Member

Posts: 1766
From: Newnan GA (USA)
Registered: Aug 2005

posted 04-04-2014 09:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
None of this changes the fact that $1.5B sent to a single contractor would be more than $1.5B spread among multiple contractors.

Out of curiosity, does anyone know if any companies, individuals, or entities have yet stepped up to the plate to reserve trips into space for themselves or their own employees with any of the current 3 contractors (Boeing/SpaceX/Sierra Nevada)? As I understand it, that is one of the primary purposes for multiple contractors doing basically the same thing: to create a new manned-spaceflight marketplace.

If I were a betting man, I would make the following prediction:

  1. Before long (perhaps this fall, or it may take a little longer) a single contractor will be chosen to continue to receive NASA money to develop a capability to launch NASA astronauts into earth orbit.

  2. The first manned flight will not occur in 2017, and probably not in 2018 either.
I hope I am wrong. I hope all three contractors, and others as well, will develop products that will have many customers besides NASA.

SkyMan1958
Member

Posts: 463
From: CA.
Registered: Jan 2011

posted 04-04-2014 10:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As far as giving $1.5 billion to 1 contractor, and let's be honest, given the strength of the political lobbying capabilities of Boeing, SpaceX and SNC, this would have meant Boeing, I hardly believe we'd be much further advanced in spacecraft development of ONE system than we currently are in three systems. Given the waste endemic in the US government procurement system, I bet Boeing would have chugged along at a slow but steady pace, constantly demanding more money.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 30027
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-04-2014 10:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by capoetc:
None of this changes the fact that $1.5B sent to a single contractor would be more than $1.5B spread among multiple contractors.
Nor does it change the fact that a single source contract for the X-33 resulted in less progress than by all three CCDev companies.
quote:
Out of curiosity, does anyone know if any companies, individuals, or entities have yet stepped up to the plate to reserve trips into space...
Space Adventures and Bigelow Aerospace has partnered with Boeing to use the CST-100 for flights other than to the space station.

Sierra Nevada has partnered with ESA and DLR to "define missions outside the Dream Chaser's primary mission of ferrying U.S. and partner nation astronauts to low-Earth orbit."

SpaceX has already announced plans for a first flight test with its own non-NASA crew (see below).

quote:
As I understand it, that is one of the primary purposes for multiple contractors...
Another goal is to ensure that the U.S. is never again limited to a single means of access to space, a lesson learned in the wake of space shuttle Columbia.
quote:
Before long (perhaps this fall, or it may take a little longer) a single contractor will be chosen...
The schedule is public. NASA will select one or more of the companies by August of this year to proceed to flights to the space station by 2017.
quote:
The first manned flight will not occur in 2017, and probably not in 2018 either.
And you are basing this on what? As already mentioned, SpaceX has announced plans for a crewed flight test in 2015.

Neil DC
Member

Posts: 38
From: Middletown, NJ, USA
Registered: May 2010

posted 04-04-2014 02:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Neil DC   Click Here to Email Neil DC     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Despite the current hiatus in US manned space transportation, there surely will be options in the future. I was presented with one intriguing thought when I last visited Star City and talked to friends there. What will happen to the Russian manned program when the US no longer needs it to send people into space? Most of the funding will be cut off. Perhaps space tourists and the Russian Government will be able to fund it?

capoetc
Member

Posts: 1766
From: Newnan GA (USA)
Registered: Aug 2005

posted 04-04-2014 04:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert, it is not my intent to try to stage a debate on this topic, but are you really comparing commercial crew to the X-33 SSTO project?

Incidentally, despite the obstacles faced by Lockheed Martin in developing a number of independent, completely new technologies for the X-33, including fully composite oxygen and hydrogen tanks (which L-M engineers strongly advised against, and which L-M has subsequently successfully demonstrated), here was the progress at the time of cancellation:

Prototype construction: Mostly assembled, with approximately 96% of the parts completed

Launch facility: 100% complete

NASA's insistence upon using all-composite materials for the LO2 and LH2 tanks doomed the project, as the engineers had warned early on. Here is a good article that details the history and ultimate demise of the 1/3-scale X-33 technology demonstrator.

I was aware of the August 2014 (maybe) deadline to announce which companies will continue to receive NASA funding for commercial crew -- my point was, I predict it will be down-selected to one contractor as the funding will likely be insufficient to support 2 or more (one could say that has been the case all along -- these are tough times for discretionary spending programs).

What do I base my assertion on that commercial crew will not fly manned in 2017? History. Manned spaceflight is hard, and I am predicting there will be challenges heretofore unforeseen that slide the target date to the right.

I hope I am wrong. I hope KSC turns into something like Mos Eisley, the Star Wars spaceport on Tatooine. I simply have doubts that enough Obi-Wans (besides NASA) will show up to pay for passage on the Millennium Falcon.

The good news is, financial inter-dependance makes war less likely (while not ruling it out -- see "The Golden Arches Theory of Conflict Prevention," later updated as the Dell Theory of Conflict Prevention by Thomas Friedman), so having financial ties to Russia gives the US and others the opportunity to talk to Russia about something they have in common instead of Crimea, which is a good thing.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 30027
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-04-2014 04:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by capoetc:
...but are you really comparing commercial crew to the X-33 SSTO project?
I was not suggesting a 1:1 comparison, but it is a valid example of how cost-plus contracts are not inherently better (or worse) than commercial agreements. They both have their advantages and disadvantages (e.g. had X-33 been a commercial development project, Lockheed would have had the freedom to direct the design of the vehicle, so long as it met NASA's needs in the end).

(As an aside, reports vary about the X-33's final state; the cited article suggests it was only 40 percent assembled when canceled; Wikipedia states 85 percent.)

I guess we'll just have to wait to see when commercial crew lifts off...

LM1
Member

Posts: 463
From: New York, NY USA
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 04-07-2014 03:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM1   Click Here to Email LM1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It appears that the situation in Ukraine is becoming grave. However, I agree that the ISS must survive this situation. The US has no choice. We have backed ourselves into a corner with no alternative but to continue to cooperate with Russia for the survival of the ISS.

However, is there a red line in this arrangement? Is there a point beyond which the US will reconsider its position in this matter? I do not know.

Should the US continue having astronauts carried to the ISS by Soyuz spacecraft?

SkyMan1958
Member

Posts: 463
From: CA.
Registered: Jan 2011

posted 04-08-2014 11:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From what I can remember, aren't the Ukrainians supplying parts to the Russian and American space industries? Does anyone know whether the factories for this are in the eastern portion of the Ukraine, or west of the Dnieper?

JBoe
Member

Posts: 454
From: Churchton, MD, USA
Registered: Oct 2012

posted 04-08-2014 03:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JBoe   Click Here to Email JBoe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Interestingly the US/Russia issue came up in today's hearing on Capitol Hill with members questioning Bolden about the timeline when relations were reduced. Bolden made it clear that both US and Russian media mischaracterized the results of the relationship from the Ukraine crisis. I don't remember the exact phrasing, but it was "cordial" from my take.

SpaceAholic
Member

Posts: 3239
From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-29-2014 11:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
General Valery Gerasimov (Russian Military Staff Chief of Staff) has just stated that that fresh US sanctions against Moscow could compromise US astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS).


This topic is 3 pages long:   1  2  3 

All times are CT (US)

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | The Source for Space History & Artifacts

Copyright 1999-2014 collectSPACE.com All rights reserved.


Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.47a





advertisement